Bubba Wallace comments on the mess in NASCAR qualifying at Auto Club Speedway
Last week, NASCAR qualifying featured a bit of drama.
Austin Dillon was quickest in round two of the three rounds for knockout qualifying. When it came time for the five minute round three, the field pulled to the edge of the pit lane and watched the clock tick down.
Austin Dillon sat at the front of the pit lane. He didn’t need to turn a time. He just needed to trick everyone else into failing to turn a time.
In order for a qualifying lap to count in group qualifying, drivers need to make it back to the line, to start the lap before time expires. At the same time, drafting is in play with the new NASCAR rules package.
Nobody wants to be the first car off the pit lane. That’s what creates the waiting game. The first car doesn’t get the benefits of the draft, while everyone behind him does.
Austin Dillon slowly left the pit lane. The field lined up behind him at the last second. When they made it back to the line, nobody crossed it in time to start their lap.
Austin Dillon was declared the pole sitter based on his time from round two. No driver completed a lap in round three. That’s the first time that’s happened in the history of the sport. But, they’ve come close in the past…
Bubba Wallace in NASCAR qualifying
“I was in the bus, already taking a shower. I didn’t make that round,” Bubba Wallace stated via NASCAR America.
Bubba Wallace qualified 28th. He was eliminated in the first round of qualifying. But, he still witnessed the mess.
“That takes us back. If we had footage of the truck at Michigan in 2014. Blaney was the first truck. I was the second truck. We waited and waited.”
“We finally took off. Guess who made it across the line? Just Blaney. That close. He qualified on the pole at 100mph, something ridiculous.”
Ryan Blaney took the pole in the Michigan National Guard 200 with an average speed of 173.152. Joey Logano qualified 2nd with an average speed of 187.647 mph (his time from the round prior). Bubba Wallace would start 4th that day.
“It’s our job to cheat the system. In today’s world, with the package and how it works out. If you’re the front car, you’re the tow. You’re the tow truck, towing everybody else behind ya.”
“You’re at a disadvantage. Nobody wants to be at a disadvantage.”
“So, we’re going to cheat the system, until they do something about it. And then we’re going to find a new way to cheat the new system.